29 Plays Later – Challenge 8 – Margarine at the Heartbreak Hotel

Fade In:

Vegas. A hotel basement. Florrie stands pointing a gun at Vince. Vince, dressed as Elvis, holds a small Chihuahua, Charlie. Vince holds a gun to Charlie’s head.

Florrie

Let go of Charlie! The truth is, I’ve despised you since I discovered the truth about you, Frank and the margarine!

Vince

Look dollface, you’ve got a suspicious mind, it all a big misunderstanding-

florrie

Misunderstanding my ass, Vince!

Vince

Look, babycakes, Frank is a clown. What does he know? Margarine is practically his stock in trade. Why do you think he looks so funny? And where do you think the name Funbottom came from? He comes from a long line of Funbottoms.

Florrie

Put Charlie down, or as God is my witness, I will pull this trigger.

Vince

Like fuck you will.

Florrie

You arrogant bastard.

Vince

Look, Florrie, don’t strain your brain. Let’s just all calm down and have a nice cup of tea.

florrie

Fuck you.

Florrie pulls the trigger. Vince drops Charlie to hold up his hands. The bullet gets him in the stomach. Vince drops his gun. He is shocked. There is blood and he looks at his hands in disbelief. Blood starts to come from his mouth. He staggers backwards and collapses on the floor. Blood pools around him. Charlie goes for Vince’s Elvis wig and savages it.

Florrie

Charlie!

Florrie scoops up the dog and totters out of the door. Vince’s body is left alone on stage.

FAde Out:

FAde In:

Florrie and Vince stand backstage. She is fussing with the collar of his Elvis costume. Charlie is in a bag on her shoulder.

Florrie

I’m so proud of you.

Vince

Thanks sugar. I look the real deal, hey?

florrie

You sure do, baby.

Vince

I’m the luckiest man alive.

Florrie

You mean you are lucky to be alive.

Vince

Hey! Hey? What’s all this?

Florrie

I’m just. I’m just glad we’re out of it. The old life.

Vince

I promised you babycakes. From now on I’m clean. I’m outta the family. Outta the trade. The only Charlie in my life will be the god damn dog.

Florrie

Promise.

Vince

Crossed my heart and hope to die.

florrie

I smell a rat. If you are lying to me, I’ll kill you.

Vince

All you smell is roses, sweet-cakes. Now come here and give me a good luck kiss.

Vince pulls Florrie in for a kiss. Frank Funbottom enters, dressed as a clown with full make up and wig.

FRANK

Hey, hey, hey. What did I tell you? No groupies backstage til after the show, and only if I get to watch.

Vince

Frank! How you doin?

Florrie

Mr Funbottom.

FRANK

Hey, now to you Mrs Vince Costanzo, I am Frank or Frankie. None of this Mister, and certainly no Funbottom.

Florrie

Charmed I’m sure. Vince, I’m gonna take Charlie for a walk. I’ll be out front if you need me. Waiting for my big boy to show me why he’s known as ‘The Pelvis’… You hound dog!

Florrie gives Frank a quick peck on the cheek. She totters out fussing over Charlie. Vince makes sure she has gone and then pulls Frank discreetly to the side.

Vince

So, have we managed to grease the wheels of commerce, Frank?

FRANK

I spoke to my contact in the hotel kitchen. The margarine is safely stowed in a dock where no one goes.

Vince

You’re contact is a chef?

FRANK

He’s a porter.

Vince

You left a hotel ported to look after 300 kilos of coke!?

FRANK

It’s safe. It’s hidden in a shipment of marg. And he’s one of us. He’s got our backs.

Vince

And our money. You better be right, or I’m smearing that ugly mug all over the star curtain. Audience or no audience.

FRANK

Hey, remember that ticker of yours. And the wife. Oh mamma. I can see why you

Vince

(Grabbing Frank by the throat.)

You leave Florrie out of this. Understand, Frank?

A stage manager arrives. Coughs. Frank and Vince jump apart.

Stage manager

Mr Funbottom. The audience is in. And there’s a kid’s party. The mom asked me if one of you could do a shout out? Here. (Hands Frank a piece of paper) To Ally Ringwald. It’s her birthday. Can’t miss her. She’s dressed as the blonde one from Frozen.

Vince goes to the curtain and peaks out.

Vince

They are all dressed as the princesses from Frozen.

Stage manager

It’s a popular movie, sir.

FRANK

No worries. My colleague Vince will take care of it.

Vince

Yeah I got this one. No worries.

FRANK

Don’t suppose there is any food? I can feel my diabetes clutching at my mortality.

Stage manager

I’ll get some sandwiches from out front.

The stage manager nips through the curtain.

Vince

Do I sing happy birthday?

FRANK

No just dedicate a song. What’s your opener?

Vince

Heartbreak Hotel.

FRANK

A rock and roll song about suicide? Perfect for an eight year olds birthday party. I’ll be on the floor modeling balloon dicks and passing them off as swords.

Vince

You’re wrong in the head Frank.

The stage manager nips back in.

Stage manager

Looks a bit rancid. Run out of butter again. But they should do.

The stage manager hands the sandwiches to Frank and Vince who wolf them down.

Stage manager

Right. Let’s get the family matinee out the way so we can go get fucked up.

He goes back out front to queue the show. Vince and Frank are both sweating.

Vince

Is it getting hot in here.

FRANK

It’s nerves. And polyester. Happens every show.

Vince

If you say so, Frank.

FRANK

I’ll see you out front.

Vince

Go be the best clown you can be.

FRANK

Long live the King!

Frank exits through the curtain. We can hear the noise of kids shouting excitedly. Vince staggers slightly. He’s sweating profusely. He puts a hand to his stomach. Breathes hard, trying to

stage manager

(Off stage)

Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the stage, the one, the only, the King of Rock and Roll, Pelvis Presley!

Frank exits through the curtain. We can hear the noise of kids shouting excitedly.

Vince

(As Elvis.)

Ladies. Gentlemen. And you hip younger generation. This, my first song, goes out to a very special little girl, Ally Ringwald. Let’s hear it for Ally. Hit it!

The backing track for Heartbreak Hotel starts. We can hear Vince singing. He’s a pretty good impersonation. Florrie enters with Charlie on a lead. She sits in the corner. She listens in rapture to Vince singing. Vince’s voice becomes increasingly strained and uncertain. He stops. Tries to carry on. Florrie stands up and moves to the curtain. Suddenly we can hear Vince vomiting on stage. Followed by the sound of lots of other people vomiting. Florrie backs away from the curtain, with her hand over her mouth. Frank drags in a barely conscious Vince. Both of them are covered in vomit.

FRANK

Help me woman.

Florrie runs and helps drag Vince off stage. She starts trying to clean him up.

Florrie

(Pointing at her bag.)

Water. It’s meant for the dog but…

Frank grabs a bottle out her bag and hands it to Florrie. Carefully, Florrie sits Vince up and carefully feeds him the water. Vince coughs and spits up the water along with a mouth full of vomit. He has come round though. Florrie backs off from him to give him some air.

florrie

What the fuck boys?

Vince

Food poisoning.

FRANK

Must be the sandwiches. There are 50 Disney princesses out there all spewing their guts out.

FLORRIE

From cheese sandwiches and a bit of butter.

FRANK

Margarine. (Pause.) Margarine…? Oh fuck.

Vince

What?

FRANK

The margarine. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Vince

Fuck.

FLORRIE

Stop saying fuck. (Pause.) The bad smell got stronger Vince and it ain’t the puke.

Vince

Sugartits…

FLORRIE

Don’t sugartits me. You only say sugartits when you’ve done something really wrong. What have you done wrong Frank? Vince?

FRANK

Look it’s a simple case of mistaken identity-

Vince

Shut up-

FRANK

The hotel have mistook our margarine for their margarine. Our very special margarine.

Vince

Frank-

Florrie

What’s he sayin Vince? What special marg? (Pause.) You got the sweats.

Vince

I’m fine.

Florrie

You’re breathing like you run a marathon. You’re red in the face. I bet if I took your pulse… You’re dealing again aren’t you? You’ve tasted the goods and now you’re dealing.

Vince

Baby. I’m sorry.

Florrie

And all those little girls. Those families. Hoping to pick up some new gen customers. Get them young, huh Vince?

FRANK

Collateral damage. Its just business Flo-

Vince

Frank. Shut your mouth-

Florrie

Collateral damage? They are kids Frank. You roofied an eight year old girl’s birthday party!?

FRANK

They’ve been sick. There’s more of the stuff on me than in them. A couple of days off school and they will be right as rain. We’ve even done them a favour. All kids love a sick day.

Vince

SHUT THE FUCK UP FRANK!

Vince pulls a gun from a holder in the back of his costume and shoots Frank right between the eyes. The clown crumbles. Florrie puts a hand over her mouth to stop herself screaming. Vince goes over to her. Takes her in his arms. Florrie starts crying. He rubs her back and makes soothing noises, like he’s comforting a scared child.

Vince

Sweetie-pie. I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. He led me astray.

FLORRIE

Where’d he get the contact from? For the blow, Vince?

Vince

Baby-

FLORRIE

(Screaming in his face.)

WHERE’D HE GET THE CONTACT TO BUY THE DRUGS?!

She looks at him. Vince avoids eye contact.

FLORRIE

That’s what I thought.

She pulls away from him. Florrie walks over to her bag. She pulls out a gun. She points it at Vince.

Vince

Florrie?

FLORRIE

You promised. Vince. You promised that it was all over. The dodgy deals. The cronies. The money. But it’s not, is it? It’s never going to be over.

Vince

Florrie Constanzo. I love you.

FLORRIE

Maybe. I’m tired Vince. I spent nearly ten years waiting tables in a diner. I met you. I spent ten years waiting tables at your club. Now just I’m waiting for you. But you’re not going to keep your side of the bargain. I’m going to keep mine.

Vince

Don’t make me shoot you too Florrie. Please.

FLORRIE

Go ahead. It’s not like we have anything left to loose, right?

We hear the sound as she cocks the trigger. Vince looks around, gun still in hand. Vince grabs Charlie, pointing the gun to his head.

FLORRIE

Charlie!

Vince

You care more about the god damn dog than me.

FLORRIE

Hurt one hair on his head and I will kill you.

Vince backs out of the staging area and out the door. Florrie watches him go. She holds her position for a second and then runs after him, gun still in hand.

FAde Out:

FAde In:

Florrie sits at an interview table in a police station. She plays nervously with a plastic cup. A detective and a police office enter. Detective Landau carries a folder. The office stays standing by the door.

Detective landau

Miss Florence Daisy?

Florrie

Florrie, please detective.

Detective landau

Very well. Miss Daisy-

Florrie

How’s Charlie? Where’s Charlie? Is he safe? Can I see him?

Detective landau

(Sitting in a chair opposite Florrie.)

He’s safe Miss Daisy. I’m a dog person, you have to be in this line of work. I’ll make sure he’s ok.

Florrie

Thank God. Thank you Detective…?

Detective landau

Landau. Detective Landau.

Florrie

Thank you Detective Landau.

Detective landau

Miss Daisy, tell us about how this all started?

Florrie

Well, Detective… It was carnage. An obese Elvis impersonator throwing up on 78 girls in Frozen costumes throwing up on an obese clown!

Florrie bats her lashes.

The End

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